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Khmer Rouge - Yotheas

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jim601 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 31 Aug 2013 at 20:46
I was watching a CNN documentary about genocides and had no idea there was one in Cambodia back in the 1970s. I did some more research and found out that the military would recruit "yotheas" and they were the perpetrators of the massacres, not the military. Does anyone have anymore information about who these "yotheas" were? All I could find was that they were usually poor people from the jungles and that they targeted "well-endowed women." I'm not sure what this means. They killed rich women because they were poor? Any input would help. Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 2013 at 03:20
Would you please explain what a "yothea" is? Also, the little bit you posted on this CNN documentary says very little. What was the name of it, and who was the reporter?

I would recommend that you google more on the Cambodian genocide and read up on both it and the Khmers Rouges organization.

You might start here: https://sites.google.com/site/anatomyofagenocidecambodia/process/stage-4---organization
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jim601 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 2013 at 07:10
The documentary was called "Scream Bloody Murder." It was about genocides.

I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think the "yotheas" were young men from the rural areas that were forcibly recruited and turned into trained killers. I had read somewhere that they would brutally torture anyone caught buying rice. Is this what they meant by "well-endowed women?" (The ones buying the rice were 'well endowed' with money so the Yotheas tortured them?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 2013 at 16:48
Yotheas, as I understand it, simply means 'youth'. They were the children (12 or older) inducted into the Khmer Rouge organization, i.e., the Angkar. In other words, they were part and parcel of the KR guerrilla Army.

I take English is not your native language. "Well Endowed" refers to a woman with large breasts. Apparently many yotheas liked cutting the breasts off such women. It had nothing to do with their buying rice.

I see no way that the Khmer Rouge "Army" can be separated from the Yotheas, who were simply its youngest recruits. I'd recommend you'd at least watch the movie "Killing Fields" as it does describe the Angkar.

http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/classes/33d/projects/genocides/cambodia/CambodiaHistoryLavinia.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jim601 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Sep 2013 at 04:29
I see. So Yotheas are comparable to the child soldiers in Africa? They were recruited by the Khmer Rouge to carry out mass murder much like in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and so on?

I will watch "Killing Fields." I assume it is the one from 1984.

In the link below, it says the daughter of a famous dancer in Phnom Penh tried to buy rice and the Khmer Rouge/Yotheas cut off her breasts and left her to bleed to death. So they did this because she had large breasts and not because she was well endowed with gold?

http://sites.asiasociety.org/dancecambodia/ghosh03.htm


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Sep 2013 at 14:13
They were recruited to be soldiers of the revolution, and the young are more easily brain-washed. They are often the most cruel.

She was likely killed because as a dancer she represented the old order, the one that the Khmers Rouges were out to completely destroy in order the build the 'New Cambodia' from the ground up. Ergo Year Zero. But because she was well endowed, they chose to cut her breasts off. A simple act of wanton cruelty condoned by their masters.

I seriously doubt she was running around with great amounts of gold dangling from her neck and ears. Gold gets hidden in such times as it is the only currency available if and when people escape.

By the way, you link mentions the Sisovang side of the family. Crown Prince Sisowath Monireth was a Captain in the 5th Foreign Legion Infantry Regiment who retired from the French Army as a Colonel. In 1945 he issued the draft call that put two Cambodian battalions into the French Army. One battalion was recruited in Cambodia Itself, and the second among the Khmer Krom of the Delta, which still had an informal Cambodian governmental structure implanted in Cochinchina. THese were the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Provisional Far-East Brigade (Brigade de Marche d'Extreme-Orient).

Monireth saw the rise of Ho Chi Minh as a direct threat to Cambodia.

Edited by lirelou - 11 Sep 2013 at 14:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jim601 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2013 at 21:01
I had no idea the French had a colonial leaders in Cambodia. How did Ho Chi Minh fit into the picture? It appears to me the more outside forces get involved, the more struggle, and the more rebellions and casualties. This is apparent in many cases in world history.

In regards to the dancer, what you say about the gold makes logic. It is in present day that people show off money and gold, but back then in a rural country I'm sure they tried to hide it so the soldiers wouldn't steal it.

Were most of the violence targeted towards women? I was wondering if they took all the men and recruited them and killing off the women since they were of no benefit to helping them go back to the "old world order" of the Angkar (because the women couldn't fight but the men could). Or did they target well-endowed men? (Is there such a thing or is that only applies to women?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2013 at 18:11
Jim, in re your: "I had no idea the French had a colonial leaders in Cambodia. How did Ho Chi Minh fit into the picture? It appears to me the more outside forces get involved, the more struggle, and the more rebellions and casualties. This is apparent in many cases in world history. "

Don't feel bad, the great majority of people who speak of colonialism with great passion have no idea as to how colonialism functioned. It depended upon the acceptance, active or passive, of major elements within the indigenous population. Vietnamese opposition to Colonialism prior to 1930 was always small scale or regionally based. World War One woke Indochina up to the reality that the French were not that much more advanced than they were, and France's acceptance of Japanese occupation, coupled with the defeat of the French Vichy Army in March 1945  by the Japanese, uncorked the proverbial champagne bottle.

SInce Vietnam was more developed than either Cambodia or Laos, the majority of such "indochinese" were Vietnamese, and their intelligentsia leaned to various post-colonial ideals ranging from an enlightened parliamentary monarchy, to a Nationalist Republic, to a Soviet or Revolutionary Marxist models. 

Ho Chi Minh's speeches related to the founding of the DRVN spoke of making Vietnam "Greater". Given Cambodia's status as a Vietnamese "protectorate" in the period immediately prior to French intervention, Cambodian memory of occupation by the Dai Nam Army, and the memory of King Minh Mang's assimilation policies in both the Kingdom and 'occupied' Kampuchea Krom, Cambodia's intelligentsia were very concerned about Vietnam becoming 'greater' and concluded that such could only be at Cambodia's expense.

That view was shared by all Cambodian factions.


Edited by lirelou - 16 Sep 2013 at 18:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jim601 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 2013 at 02:36
Thanks for the information. I have difficulty finding some research so this helps a lot.

I know Pol Pot was afraid that during the Vietnam War the Vietnamese communists would try to create a powerful unit within Asia to fight the U.S. And this caused a possible power shift so the Khmer Rouge fought the Vietnamese and lost in the late 1970s. But how did he become this powerful figure? I assume it was somehow from being in the military. And he wanted the "Ergo Year Zero" thing you said because it was a way to start over and eliminate the current problems with the Vietnamese and others?

Regarding Ergo Year Zero, were men tortured like the women or were they all recruited instead? Is there such a thing as a well-endowed man or is that just applies to the women (like that dancer example above)?

 
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